If you've been looking at the ever-climbing prices being paid at auction for collector automobiles and wonder when values will begin to peak, we don't know what to tell you except that they haven't yet. Case in point, the Art of the Automobile event held by RM Auctions and Sotheby's in Manhattan — the first such auction to be held in New York for over a decade.
Wealthy collectors in the Big Apple were apparently eager to open their checkbooks as wide as they could, as the event brought in a massive $63M in sales after 93 percent of the lots consigned sold to the highest bidders. The undisputed star of the show was clearly the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM, a rare specimen of one of the most vaunted of classic Maranello racing cars ever made. Designed as the successor to the 250 GTO (which fetches record prices when they're actually sold), the 250 LM was one of the first mid-engined sports racing cars, of which only 32 were made. This particular example, which won its class at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1968 and bears the chassis number 6107, sold for $14M. That makes it the third most expensive Ferrari ever sold at auction, behind the $27.5M recently paid for a 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder and the $17M paid for a 250 Testa Rossa.
The next top lot was a one-of-a-kind Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Teardrop Cabriolet. The sole surviving convertible version of an iconic Art Deco-era coupe (of which only 20 examples were made to begin with), the Talbot-Lago drop-head sold for $7.15M.
"Working with Sotheby's, we set out to create the finest automobile auction that there has ever been,” said RM Auctions founder Rom Myers. “Our aim has been to raise the bar and set a completely new standard for quality and presentation, and I am delighted to say that these amazing results have proven it a great success. What we have established here in New York is a complete demonstration of how to bring some of the world's rarest and most exceptional automobiles to market, in both an exciting and visually arresting way. Furthermore, the sale has successfully brought many new collectors into the market for the first time, which is fantastic news for our hobby."
Other highlights of the sale included a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competition Berlinetta (which sold for $7.04M) and a 1954 Maserati A6G/2000 Spyder with coachwork by Zagato (which brought in $4.45M).